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Rabbi Lapin on Mel Gibson’s Passion

Rabbi Daniel Lapin discusses Mel Gibson’s upcoming film, "Passion," which portrays the life of Christ.

In some quarters, the movie has been portrayed as rabidly anti-Jewish. Rabbi Lapin begs to differ.

The movie will be released on Feb. 25th.

Discussions - 2 Comments

From what I’ve read, the film is neither more nor less anti-semitic than are the Gospels themselves, which are, of course, the movie’s primary inspiration. Some scholars have raised the question of whether the four Evangelists might have erroneously portrayed Pontius Pilate as having only reluctantly gone along with the crucifixion. They have good reason for doing so--by the time the Gospels were written, the Evangelists had a great deal to gain by winning over Roman citizens and no particular need to appeal to the Jews. However, to single out Gibson for blame here stikes me as silly.

I agree with your comments about Gibson’s movie, but I don’t understand your comments about the Gospels being anti-Semitic. Jesus was a Jew and He and his followers reached out to Jews, among others, for a message of salvation. There was no deliberate hatred of Jews propagated or conducted by the early Christians. Would Jews be considered "anti-Christian" for not accepting Christianity and essentially calling Christians wrong for 2,000 for listening to the words of a blasphemer who claimed to be God?

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